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Biden nominates first woman to lead US uniformed service

Adm. Linda Fagan (US Coast Guard/Released)
April 06, 2022

President Joe Biden nominated Adm. Linda L. Fagan to lead the United States Coast Guard, and if confirmed, Fagan would become the first woman to lead a U.S. uniformed service.

Adm. Fagan would replace the current Commandant of the Coast Guard, Adm. Karl L. Schultz, who is set to retire after a change of command ceremony scheduled for June 1 in Washington, D.C, the service announced in a statement.

“Admiral Fagan is an exceptional senior Coast Guard officer and nominee, possessing the keen intellect, the depth of operational experience, and the well-honed leadership and managerial acumen to serve with distinction as our Service’s 27th Commandant,” Adm. Schultz said in a statement.

Currently serving as the 32nd Vice Commandant, Adm. Fagan previously served as Commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, which oversees Coast Guard operations from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the African coast.

She also served as Commander, Defense Force West “providing Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.”

For the first time ever in the service, Adm. Fagan became a Gold Ancient Trident due to her status as the officer with the longest service record in the Marine Safety field.

“Adm. Fagan is a tremendous leader, trailblazer, and respected public servant who will lead the Coast Guard across its critical missions with honor. Over Adm. Fagan’s 36 years in the Coast Guard, she has served on seven continents, was previously commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, and is the officer with the longest service record in the marine safety field,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, according to USNI News.

“Within the Coast Guard and across the Department of Homeland Security, Adm. Fagan is admired as a role model of the utmost integrity, and her historic nomination is sure to inspire the next generation of women who are considering careers in military service,” he added.

Adm. Fagan chose and President Biden nominated Vice Adm. Steven D. Poulin to replace her as the Coast Guard’s new Vice Commandant should she be confirmed.

“From her career beginnings as a deck watch officer on the Seattle-based icebreaker Polar Star, Admiral Fagan has shown strong leadership and a commitment to service that make her an outstanding choice as the Coast Guard’s 27th Commandant,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Upon confirmation, she would become the first woman and mother to lead any branch of the Armed Forces. This nomination proves the value of enacting laws that provide family leave, childcare, and health care access to support talented women in the Coast Guard who have dual roles as service members and parents.”

“Admiral Fagan’s nomination will inspire generations of American women to strive to serve at the highest level in the Armed Forces,” the statement concluded.